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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced changes to the application process for the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) for the 2017 application cycle. From January 2017, individuals who wish to sponsor their parent(s) or grandparent(s) for Canadian permanent residence status will first be required to complete an online form indicating their interest in the program to IRCC.

The online form will be available for 30 days, from 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on January 3, 2017, to 12 p.m. EST on February 2, 2017. After this 30-day period, IRCC will randomly select 10,000 individuals to submit a complete application. It is important to note that these 10,000 individuals will be the Canadian citizens or permanent residents who wish to sponsor their parent(s) or grandparent(s), and not the parent(s) or grandparent(s) being sponsored. IRCC states that individuals should not submit more than one form, as duplicate forms will be deleted.

The Application Process

The selected individuals will have 90 days to submit a complete application and supporting documents. IRCC states that it will make the application package and guide — which may include forms and document requirements — available online on January 9, 2017. However, only the 10,000 randomly-selected individuals who are invited to apply may submit the application package and supporting documents.

IRCC will notify all individuals who submitted an online form to indicate their interest in sponsoring their parent(s) or grandparent(s) whether they are selected or not. IRCC states that individuals who are not selected may try again in 2018.

Previous application cycles for the PGP have operated on a first-come, first-served basis, with the intake cap filling quickly, typically within days. IRCC has explained that the change to the upcoming application period is aimed to improve the fairness of the process. Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum, stated, “We’re listening to what past applicants had to say and making the process fairer for people who want to sponsor their parents or grandparents. We’re ensuring everyone can access the application process by giving them the same chance to have their name chosen.”

In the Immigration Levels Plan for 2017, the Government of Canada established a target of 20,000 new permanent resident admissions to Canada through the PGP.

To find out if you are eligible to sponsor your parent(s) or grandparent(s) to come to Canada, please complete this free online assessment form.

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